DOI: 10.1002/rcr2.1211 ISSN:

A mariner's tale: Invasive endotracheal Mycobacterium marinum infection

Peter T. Bell, James Anderson, Christopher Coulter, Andrew J. Dettrick, Andrew Burke, Timothy Baird
  • Pulmonary and Respiratory Medicine


Mycobacterium marinum is a ubiquitous water‐borne non‐tuberculous mycobacterial (NTM) pathogen. In humans, M. marinum infections are acquired through direct inoculation of skin wounds and are almost exclusively localized to skin and soft tissues. Pulmonary infection with M. marinum is extremely rare, and to our knowledge, invasive endobronchial disease has not been reported. Here, we present a case of a 71‐year‐old immunocompetent male surfer with invasive endotracheal M. marinum granulomatous disease. The patient was successfully cured with a regimen of azithromycin 250 mg daily, ethambutol 900 mg (15 mg/kg) daily and rifampicin 600 mg daily for 12 months following culture conversion. This case highlights several important concepts: Firstly, M. marinum infection, including invasive endobronchial infection, should be considered a rare cause of NTM pulmonary disease. Secondly, endotracheal infection can be successfully eradicated with this selected therapeutic regimen. Finally, the absence of M. marinum skin or soft‐tissue infection in this patient, raises the possibility that human disease might also be acquired via inhalation of M. marinum contaminated water in rare circumstances.

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